Hollywood@Home: Big Hero 6

"We don't need another Hiro." "Big Hero 6" is nothing we haven't seen before.

“We don’t need another Hiro.” “Big Hero 6” is nothing we haven’t seen before.

“Big Hero 6” is an amusing, sometimes touching, tale of a boy and his robot. It’s the genesis of a superhero saga that’s sure to see a sequel or two or more. And although the film is made well by Walt Disney Studios, I can’t help but detect a lack of originality as the Mouse exploits its new relationship with Marvel Entertainment. Animated films are starting to all look-alike.

This big-budget animated film is based on an obscure Marvel comic about a young inventor, Hiro Hamada, and his gifted brother’s creation, Baymax, a medical robot that could be first cousins with the Michelin Man or the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

After Hiro’s brother is killed, he discovers that his own invention (microscopic robots that come together to form various shapes and functions) is being used by an evil masked villain, called Yokai. Hiro, Baymax and his brother’s friends from school team up to bring justice to the evildoer and his microbots.

“Big Hero 6” has plenty of action and a sympathetic protagonist. It also deals with death and grieving, which could be a good way for parents to talk with their kids about the circle of life. But, I watched the film with a certain weariness that comes from seeing too much of the same thing. Hollywood gives kids the same old same old, time after time. And, there just isn’t enough originality in “Big Hero 6” for me to sign on.

“Big Hero 6” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and that’s a powerful argument in its favor. But, it’s the overall look of the film that I take issue with. Hiro looks too much like other CGI animated kids. I call Shrek-itis. Hiro, Hiccup, The Incredibles, Brave. Aren’t there any truly unique ways left to draw the human figure?

And, does every story have to be about superheroes? Sure, the protagonist should do something extraordinary. But, why does there always have to be robots and superpowers and masked villains?

“Big Hero 6” may have the credentials of Disney Studios behind it. But, how about finding better stories to tell? You’ve done it before, Mr. Mouse. “Mulan” “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid. Certainly, “Beauty and the Beast.” Now, it seems that Hollywood only wants superheroes, and I’m burned out.

My preferences in 2014 were “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” and “The Boxtrolls.” Why? Because they didn’t look like every other animated film that Hollywood churns out these days.

“Big Hero 6” is the perfect babysitter for your kids. But, animation should offer something to the adults as well. Let’s find more original stories and even get experimental, folks. “Big Hero 6” is nothing we haven’t seen before. Grade: C

Fast Facts:

Street Date: February 24, 2015

Formats: Blu-ray and DVD

Runtime: 102 minutes

Rated: “PG”

Released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Hiro learns how to train his robot in "Big Hero 6."

Hiro learns how to train his robot in “Big Hero 6.”